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Annette L. Stanton, PhD
Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Member, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California
Los Angeles, California
Seeking to improve quality of life through evidence-based interventions that promote the health and well-being of women during and after breast cancer treatment.
Studies are ongoing aimed at understanding the barriers in adherence to therapy, the challenges of living with metastatic breast cancer, and factors that lead to depression after a breast cancer diagnosis.
These studies will inform effective interventions that can extend the lives and improve quality of life in patients with advanced breast cancer.
Dr. Stanton is conducting several studies aimed at improving outcomes and quality of life after a breast cancer diagnosis. She continues to collect and analyze data from a randomized, controlled trial to identify factors that either promote or hinder adherence to the endocrine therapy and to test a video-based intervention in breast cancer survivors.
Early results from this trial indicate that women who practice a strategy to maintain adherence (e.g., reminders that tamoxifen can prevent recurrence) were more successful at staying on therapy. Conversely, women who had lower social support were more likely to experience depressive symptoms, which predicted lower objective adherence.
Another ongoing effort is to address challenges of living with metastatic disease. The team is currently testing an intervention for women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) called Project Connect Online, in which patients create personal websites to chronicle their experience and communicate within their social networks.
A third ongoing project will identify what makes some women vulnerable to depression. The group’s analyses revealed that women who were able to accept their diagnosis and express their emotions had the lowest risk for depression.
These studies will lead to better strategies to help women stick with their endocrine therapy, which ultimately can save lives and improve quality of life for women living with advanced disease.
Annette L. Stanton, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, senior research scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, and a member of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research centers on specifying factors that promote psychological and physical health in individuals who confront health-related adversity, including cancer, infertility, and other medical conditions. She is particularly interested in the conditions under which specific coping processes promote or hinder health and well-being. In the area of psychosocial oncology, Dr. Stanton conducts longitudinal research to understand the influences of personality and contextual resources, cognitive appraisals, and coping processes on the quality of life and health in individuals diagnosed with or at risk for a range of cancers, including cancer of the breast, eye, lung, and prostate. She then works to translate her findings into effective interventions for individuals living with cancer through conducting randomized, controlled trials of psychosocial interventions. In 2003, Dr. Stanton received the Senior Investigator Award from Division 38 (Health Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, and in 2012-13 she served as President of Division 38. In 2013, she received the Society of Behavioral Medicine Cancer Special Interest Group Award for Outstanding Achievement in Behavioral Medicine and Psycho-Oncologic Research. She has received awards for undergraduate teaching and graduate mentoring. In 2006, Professor Stanton was honored with the J. Arthur Woodward Graduate Mentoring Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award in the UCLA Department of Psychology.